From Art

Art & Cognition: False Images in the Poetry of Spenser and Sidney

During the English reformation ‘images’ were especially suspect. They were seen as impersonators, their deceptiveness offering nothing more than a temptation to idolatry and damnation (Tassi, 24). Both Spenser and Sidney were well aware of this and perhaps they conjured up the ‘false images’ in their own poetry with a view to teaching readers about this very danger.

La Passione di Roma & the difference between modern and classical art

William James (often referred to as the father of modern psychology) was greatly impressed with what he believed to be the distinction between classical and modern art. In ancient Greek art, he argued, lay the quintessence of all reality. There the artist’s idea runs through all his creation allowing it to lose any amount of detail and still smile as freely as before.  A smashed nose or broken arm could never diminish a Greek statute’s rapport.  By contrast the ‘modern’ Madonna’s missing nose destroyed her very essence. According to James, something in modern art created a dissonance, a subjective distance…

Today and Tomorrow are Seven of Cups Days

With the sun still in Gemini (ideas) and the moon moving to Taurus (desire), the tarot card for today and tomorrow is the Seven of Cups. On a divinatory level, the Seven of Cups represents an emotionally charged situation where we’re overwhelmed with possibilities–faced not only with the challenge of choosing but also with acting realistically and responsibly in regards to our choice. Unlike yesterday where the Moon was in Aries and our wildest dreams were possible, today and tomorrow we’ll discover that they weren’t and quite possibly, never will be. For the Kabbalist, today’s energy is the equivalent of…

When is Fiction Art and Why Does it Matter?

Art commands special status and support from states, corporations, and the public at large. Art is not just a matter of profits – indeed some art is extremely unprofitable.  Art is of enduring cultural esteem and concern. Yet given its importance, surprisingly there is no accepted definition of art. Most philosophers believe that simply being entertaining is not enough. Similarly defining ‘art’ in terms of the emotions it evokes won’t do. There is nothing valuable in the arousal of emotion for it’s own sake (unless you’re willing to agree that – for example – pornography is art). Even if we…